Patent application title: Child-Resistant Container for Housing a Blister Card
Richard Costa (Bedminster, NJ, US)
ONE WORLD DESIGN & MANUFACTURING GROUP, LTD.
IPC8 Class: AB65D8304FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for ampule, capsule, pellet, or granule single unit container
Publication date: 2009-04-16
Patent application number: 20090095649
A child-resistant container for housing a blister card includes a top
section and bottom section with an opening on one side for a blister card
to be moved from a stored position to a dispensing position, partially
removed form the container. A blister card sits against the inner surface
bottom section and is held there by a trap arm molded into the top
section. The trap arm has a plate that presses down on the blister
holding it in place. The blister card is unreachable, except via an
opening in the bottom of the container. The user pushed on the blister
card through the thumbhole causing the blister into a dispensing
position. As the blister moves out of the container a notch in the
blister card catches on a hook molded into the trap arm not permitting
the card to completely leave the container.
1. A child-resistant container for housing a blister card, said container
comprising:a top;a bottom defining an opening and connected to said top;
anda trap arm connected to the inside of said top that exerts a downward
force on a blister card whereby holding said blister card against the
inside surface of said bottom.
2. The child-resistant container according to claim 1 wherein said top and said bottom each comprise at least four sides and are attached at three sides creating a container opening on a fourth side.
3. The child-resistant container according to claim 2 wherein said trap arm comprising an upper arm, a plate, a lower arm, and a hook.
4. The child-resistant container according to claim 3 comprising a lip formed in said bottom at said container opening.
5. The child-resistant container for housing a blister card of claim 4 comprising one inner guide wall formed on the inner surface of said top.
6. The child-resistant container according to claim 5 wherein said top further comprises two outer guide walls molded into the bottom surface of said top.
7. The child-resistant container according to claim 6 comprising a stop separating said container opening into two halves.
8. The child resistant container according to claim 7 wherein said inner guide walls and said outer guide walls are paired to form two medication channels.
9. A child resistant container for housing a blister card comprising:a top having a top panel and a top sidewalls;a bottom having a bottom panel with an opening and bottom sidewalls attached to said top forming thereby a container;a blister card connected to the inside surface of said top panel including an upper arm connected to the inside surface of said top panel, a plate, a lower arm, a hook, wherein said top and said bottom define an opening in said container.
10. The child resistant container according to claim 9 comprising a lip at said opening in said container
11. The child resistant container according to claim 10 comprising inner guide walls and outer guide walls formed on the inner surface of said top panel thereby forming two medication channels.
12. The child resistant container according to claim 11 comprising a stop separating said opening.
13. A child-resistant container for housing a blister card comprising:a top including a top panel and top sidewalls;a bottom including a bottom panel and bottom sidewalls;said top and said bottom attached to one another and forming an opening in said container, a trap arm for a blister card including an upper arm connected to the inside surface of said top panel, a plate, a lower arm, and a hook wherein two inner guide walls formed on the inside of said top panel with a lip formed on said bottom.
This application claims priority from, and the benefit of U.S.
provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/978,768, filed Oct. 10, 2007,
and entitled Child-Resistant Container for Housing Medication.
FIELD OF INVENTION
The present invention relates to senior-friendly, child-resistant containers for holding blister cards that store and dispense medication.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The use of child resistant packaging is well known in the art for goods ranging from household items to pharmaceutical products. This type of packaging is very useful when the product being delivered may be harmful to children. To satisfy this need, the pharmaceutical industry utilizes two main methods of dispensing medication, either loosely in a bottle or more discretely in a blister card.
The child resistant traditional "amber" bottle utilizes a "push and turn" cap. With this technology, a person wishing to open the bottle must press down to release a locking mechanism while turning the cap. These bottles are effective for mass distribution of a medication, but have significant drawbacks. First, "amber" bottles are smaller in size and do not provide a sufficiently stable gripping surface to allow a user of limited dexterity, i.e., the elderly, to access the medication easily. Secondly, there is a significant problem related to stability of the individual pills. Medication stability is a growing worry in the pharmaceutical field since the pills are often handled and then returned to their container. In this way, the chances of contamination are increased as the user must repeatedly open and close the bottle to get the medication. Furthermore, the shelf life and effectiveness of a medication can be decreased by being over exposed to hand oils and body moisture due to over handling. Finally, an "amber" bottle provides no compliance feature that provides the user with information as to whether or not a dose has been taken.
Another well-known type of medication packaging is a blister card or "unit dose" packaging. Blister cards are typically formed from flexible materials with a plurality of cavities that receive and dispense one pill. The open side of the cavity is then covered with a foil seal. The user must push the pill through the foil seal in order to take the medication. Although this type of packaging ensures stability and allows for patient compliance, it does not provide enough protection or child resistance. Unlike a bottle, the blister pack achieves patient compliance because the user can more easily keep track as to whether or not a dose was taken that morning, day, or week since a pill will be visually missing.
The present invention provides a significant improvement over the "amber" bottle because it does not require a pressing and turning motion that can be difficult for those with limited dexterity. While retaining child-resistance, the ease of which the blister card is removed form the present invention creates a simple method for users to gain access to their medication. Furthermore, by incorporating a blister card into the child-resistant packaging allows the user to maintain a compliance regimen and retain a safety measurement against any children gaining access to the medication.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a child-resistant container having a top and a bottom that together form a secure enclosure. A blister card is installed through an opening in a front side of the container and rests upon the inside surface of the bottom of the container. A trap is connected to a lower portion of the inside surface of the top of the container, where it angles downwardly so as to exert a downward force onto the blister card. This downward force keeps the blister card pinned inside the container. A user can only access the blister card, from this stored position, via a thumbhole in the container bottom.
According to the present invention, in order to access the medication the user must push on the blister card through the thumbhole in an upward and forward direction. The upward pressure by the user bends the trap and releases the downward pressure on the blister card enabling its forward movement. As the blister card slides forward, a slot formed in the rear of the blister card catches on a hook at the forward end of the trap. A stop formed in the top of the container near the opening ensures that the hook cannot be prevented from engaging the slot to allow the blister card to be removed from the container. The trap has a lower arm angled from the top front to the bottom rear that creates a barrier to force the blister back down toward its original stored position inside the container. The plate is then reengaged thereby pinning the blister in this stored state.
Embodiments of the invention also allow for high speed filling. The blister card may be easily inserted into the opening in the container and slid back into a stored position. This can be easily accomplished by either hand or by assembly line type machinery. The ability to load the child-resistant container automatically allows for costs to be decreased in relation to both manufacture and distribution of the medication. Additionally, it allows for an increased ease in packing and shipping since the machinery can accomplish all of this with ease.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully disclosed in, or rendered obvious by the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, which are to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein like numbers refer to like parts and further wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the child-resistant container formed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the child-resistant container shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the child-resistant container shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the child-resistant container with inserted blister card formed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the child-resistant container in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a top view of the child-resistant container shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the child-resistant container shown in FIG. 1, as taken along line 100-100 in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a top view of the child-resistant container shown in accordance with the present invention in a dispensing position;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the child-resistant container shown in FIG. 1; as taken along lines 200-200 in FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a top view of a blister card used with the child-resistant container in accordance with the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
This description of preferred embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description of this invention. The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features of the invention may be shown exaggerated in scale or in somewhat schematic form in the interest of clarity and conciseness. In the description, relative terms such as "horizontal," "vertical," "up," "down," "top" and "bottom" as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., "horizontally," "downwardly," "upwardly," etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing figure under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and normally are not intended to require a particular orientation. Terms including "inwardly" versus "outwardly," "longitudinal" versus "lateral" and the like are to be interpreted relative to one another or relative to an axis of elongation, or an axis or center of rotation, as appropriate. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as "connected" and "interconnected," refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise. The term "operatively connected" is such an attachment, coupling or connection that allows the pertinent structures to operate as intended by virtue of that relationship. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses, if used, are intended to cover the structures described, suggested, or rendered obvious by the written description or drawings for performing the recited function, including not only structural equivalents but also equivalent structures.
Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a senior friendly, child-resistant container 1 includes a top 2 and a bottom 4 that are connected to one another by a hinge 6. Top 2 includes a top panel 8 and a top sidewall 9, and is sealed to bottom 4. Bottom 4 includes a bottom panel 10 and a bottom sidewall 11. Top 2 and bottom 4 together define opening 12 near an end of container 1 suitable for dispensing blister card 40. A stop 14 formed on top 2 splits opening 12 into medication openings 13a and 13b. Bottom 4 further comprises a lip 15, which is formed across the lower edges of opening 11 to provide blister card 40 with a secure stored position within container 1.
Referring to FIGS. 4-7, top 2 includes trap arm 20 formed on the inner surface of top panel 8. Trap arm 20 comprises upper arm 22, plate 24, lower arm 26 and hook 28. Upper arm 22 is formed on an inner surface of top panel 8 and is arranged at a downwardly sloping angle toward lip 15. At lip 15, upper arm 22 flattens so as to be arranged in parallel relation to top 2 and bottom 4 so as to form plate 24. Plate 24 presses against blister card 40 between medications 44, thereby keeping blister card 40 tightly pinned to the inner surface of bottom panel 10. Lower arm 26 is formed on plate 24 at an upwardly sloping angle toward stop 14 before forming hook 28. Inner guide walls 16 and outer guide walls 18 are formed on the inner surface of top panel 8 to define medication channels 19. Inner guide walls 16 and outer guide walls 18 provide barriers to medication 44 when it is being moved, thus ensuring that blister card 40 will not become skewed or misaligned within container 1. Bottom 3 includes thumbhole 30 formed beneath trap arm 20. Thumbhole 30 is the primary means for reaching blister card 40 in order to move it into a dispensing position.
Referring to FIGS. 8-10, to move blister card 40 into dispensing position, the user must simultaneously press both up and forward on the bottom of blister card 40 through thumbhole 30 with either a thumb or finger. When the user presses on blister card 40, upper arm 22 starts to flex so that the downward pressure of plate 24 is lessened. This in turn allows the user to slide blister card 40 forward through opening 12. As the blister card 40 moves forward through opening 12, a slot 42 formed in the rear portion of blister card 40 catches on hook 28 halting all forward movement of blister card 40. This construction is essential to child-resistance since if the blister card 40 can be removed, container 1 would no longer be child resistant. Additionally, stop 14 creates a barrier that does not allow a user to manipulate blister card 40 by twisting or bending since that could permit circumvention of trap arm 20.
After a dose is dispensed, blister card 40 is slid back into container 1 to its stored position. While the user pushes blister card 40 back into container 1, lower arm 26 creates a barrier that forces the rear portion of blister card 40 downwardly below plate 24 where it returns to its original stored position against the inner surface of bottom panel 10.
Referring to FIGS. 11-13, in another embodiment, the container 51 includes top 52, bottom 54 connected by hinge 56. The top 52, comprising top panel 58 and top sidewall 59, is sealed to the bottom 54, similarly comprising bottom panel 60 and bottom sidewall 61, by any method known to a person of ordinary skill in the art. In this embodiment the top sidewalls 59 and bottom sidewalls 61 are connected via post 66 and pocket 68 system, The posts 66 enter into the pockets 68 and seal the top 52 and bottom 54 at all points along the top sidewalls 59 and bottom sidewalls 61, thus creating opening 62 for dispensing blister card 90.
Referring to FIGS. 14-17, trap 70 is formed on the inside surface of top panel 58. The trap 70 includes base 72, upper arm 74, plate 76, hook 78 and lower arm 80. Base 72 and trap arm 74 of trap 70 are formed on the inside of top panel 58. Trap arm 74 slopes downwardly towards opening 62. Plate 76 forms a flat plateau-like surface along the length of trap arm 74 toward bottom panel 60. Plate 76 is often of sufficient height to press downwardly upon a blister card 90 that is set in against the inner surface of bottom panel 60 and inside lip 63. A hook 78 is formed on the lower side of trap arm 74 where it slopes away from opening 62 and toward bottom panel 60, where it comes in contact with blister card 90. At the far end of trap arm 72 is upward arm 80 that curves upwardly toward top panel 58 and opening 62. Two limits 82 are formed on either side of blister arm 74 so as to drop from the inner surface of top panel 58. The limits 82 stop blister arm 74 from flexing beyond a predetermined amount when a user it dispensing medication 94.
Guide walls 64 are formed on the inner surface of top panel 58 and run along the length of top 52 from base 72 to the rear portion of container 51. Guide walls 64 help align blister card 90 within container 51 but prevent blister card 90 from skewing within the container causing medication 94 to become unattainable by a user. Bottom 54 includes thumbhole 84 that is formed in bottom panel 61 below trap 70. Thumbhole 84 is the only means a user has for activating or initiating the method to attain blister card 90 by moving it into dispensing position.
Referring to FIGS. 18-20, when blister card 90 has been moved from the stored position to a dispensing position, the user pushes or presses through thumbhole 84 onto the bottom side of blister card 90 thereby propelling it up and forward. Trap arm 74 then flexes toward the inner surface of top panel 58 until it engages limits 82. This releases the downward pressure of plate 76 on the top surface of blister card 90 thereby permitting access to blister card 90 through opening 62. As blister card 90 travels forward through container 1, blister slot 92 catches engages hook 78 and stops the forward movement of blister card 90. This is essential to child-resistance since if the blister card 90 can be removed, container 1 would no longer be child resistant. In this embodiment, limits 84 create a barrier that prevents a user from manipulating blister card 90 by twisting or bending it which would permit trap arm 74 or hook 78 to be circumvented or defeated. After dispensing medication 94, the user slides blister card 90 back into container 1. Lower arm 80 is sloped away from opening 62 to direct blister card 90, thus returning it in position against the inner surface of bottom panel 60 and inside lip 63. The downward pressure of trap arm 70 and plate 76 are again exerted upon blister 90 until time for dispensing a next dose of medication.
It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited to the particular constructions herein disclosed and shown in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications or equivalents within the scope of the claims.
Patent applications by Richard Costa, Bedminster, NJ US
Patent applications in class Single unit container
Patent applications in all subclasses Single unit container